Cooking Tips and Questions - Carb Help!! Banish the Pasta

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09-09-2010, 11:49 AM
hello all!!

Growing up in a household where pasta was always served as a side or a main dish, I am having considerable difficulty finding a replacement for pasta. I am good on vegetalbes and meat and I have gotten all of the pasta and rice out of the house. I am not sure I am at the point yet where I can have the brown rice and wheat pasta in the house and not binge on it when I make it. Does anyone have any ideas for side dishes??


09-09-2010, 02:26 PM
You may not like this solution very much, but I just ... skip it. As in don't have any carb/starch side dish, at least for dinner. I have protein (at least one full portion, 3 oz) and lots of vegetables, at least 2-3 different kinds. Usually I just roast whatever I've got handy on a baking sheet.

You might be surprised how quickly you get used to it. But you could start in small steps, maybe just once or twice a week at first. You could also try sweet potato, or a whole grain like barley, quinoa, or wild rice, they have more fiber and protein than the standard carb sides so slightly fewer calories in the portion.

I'm not a carb counter, just a calorie counter. But I find I have fewer cravings after dinner when I don't eat a starch.

09-09-2010, 05:34 PM
Ok, other than sharing personal experience I am also going to share some scientific jargon, some people need bilogical reasons and I am one of those people. so here is my 2 cents

Personally: I find myself straying further away from plan if I try to replace items, such as getting low carb this, or whole grain that, thinking it is better. Even spaghetti squash when served to replace a noodle just messes my head up! Now as a veggie (like it is made to be) it is wonderful, dont get me wrong.

Scientifically: you will be much better off just getting it out of your life. I understand culture, and family tradition, and doing things the way they have always been done. Really I do. But my father and his father both drank like a fish....I stopped that tradition....a good thing right? Eating the wrong foods can be the same thing

Explain Insulin and its Role:
Eat food -> raises blood sugar -> raises the level of the hormone insulin not all food groups raise the levels in the same way
(Fat -no; Protein -very little; Carbs -alot (varies by glycemic load, not index))
When there is too many carbs or bad carbs -> blood sugar spikes -> insulin level spikes. Consistent insulin spiking causes your insulin sensitivity to decrease, meaning you cannot control it.

Insulin: 1) controls the storage of fat; 2) directs the flow of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbs to tissues; 3) regulates cholesterol; 4) is a growth hormone;
5) involved in appetite control; and more...
Do you really want to lose control of that?

Consistent, long-term insulin resistence leads to the inability of the body to shed extra fat; the inability of the body to absorb nutrients; and leads to hyperinsulinemia.

What is Hyperinsulinemia?
Through heredity (sorry) and eating too much carbs, your body becomes insulin resistent. Your pancreas cannot tell or control how much insulin is being secreted. This consistent and high level of insulin in the body leads to hyperinsulinemia. This condition can be linked to almost ALL diseases:
heart disease - cancer - stroke - diabetes - obesity - hypertension - myopia - PCOS - gout - acne - excess fluid retention- immune disorders - diabetes - arthritis - etc

SO, your carbs are limited, assuming this from your post. So you want to make the very best choices in the carbs that you eat. Your first selections should be from veggies, and then fruits (berries best choices). Wheat, like pasta and bread, really have very little nutrition, people say they need it for fiber....really? Green beans, spinach and blueberries do a fantastic job!

Why cut out Grains?
Not healthy, no nutrients, not suitable for our digestive system
(causes weight gain and bloating)
Contain anti-nutrients (phytates- more on that soon)
Contain lectin (grain protein causes gut irritation) > celiac: gluten intolerance > destruction of villi in intestines > a vast array of digestive/gastrointestinal problems:
constipation - heart burn - colon disease - IBS - varicose veins - indigestion - colitis - gall stones - hemorroids - appendicitis - hiatal hernia - duodenal ulcer
Gluten (wheat, oats) disrupts insulin signalling (1 in 33 people have celiac disease)
Lead to carb addiction (bread anyone?)
Kitava study: No cancer, diabetes, heart disease or obesity.
Intro to grains/dairy/legumes = disease started
Inuits: 85% fat, 15% protein, no carbs = no disease

Cut out all grains for 3-4 weeks, just see how you feel! You will become a fat burning machine assuming you are eating healthy protiens, fats, and fruits and veggies! No spaghetti or lasagna is worth it to me. In fact I 'splurged' and had some mexican food the other day and allowed myself one corn tortilla with my beef fajitas and 9 corn chips for my salsa
....I felt like crap after wards. Bloated, tired, cranky. Once you feel how good you CAN feel you dont want to go back!
Hope that helps, I know it is a ton of info, but it certainly helps me

09-10-2010, 09:05 AM
I am sitting here with a pout on my face!! Thankfully I am not really a bread person and don't eat it - Yesterday I threw out all my pasta and gave away anything that was unopened. I did have corn tortillas for lunch but that was about it. This is gonna be a challenge because I am also on cumadin and vegetables, especially green ones really throw off my PT/INR but I did tell the doctor yesterday that she needed to make a choice - stop getting on my case about my numbers are increase my blood work so she can keep adjusting my meds as I change my diet. :-D
Your information was very very useful and I am glad you posted it - there was a lot that I didn't know about it.

Thank you both so so much!!

09-10-2010, 11:04 AM
It does sound kind of a bummer at first. But like I said, start in small steps and you might find you get used to it. Either that or only have very small portions of pasta (depends on if you're a person who can stop with one portion or has to go cold turkey). I did it mostly for calorie reasons, and it meant I could trade some of those calories for something that was more important to me than a side of rice or potato. And now when I have a baked potato it's something special.

One thing that makes veggies fill in more for me without the carbs, is that I always have more than one color -- the eye eats too. Colored peppers, tomatoes, carrots, beets really cheer up a plate (don't remember if any of those are a problem for coumadin). You can even shake things up by adding a couple of slices of pineapple or melon or grapes.

Thighs Be Gone
09-10-2010, 11:26 AM
Have you ever tried SHIRATAKE noodles? They are usually found in the produce section and are kept refrigerated. It sounds like you don't mind:

1. Cooking
2. Experimenting with new things

I really think if you will give them a chance and experiment, experiment, experiment you will find they CAN work! They are 40 calories a bag which is considered two servings. When I eat them, I usually eat two bags. I have learned how to make a fantastic alfredo and a fantastic bolognese sauce that are AWESOME on them--even with the sauce they are super, duper low-calorie meals.

09-11-2010, 09:03 AM
so, I ate a side of our potatoes yesterday at work and immediately felt like crap. :carrot: So, I am just going to have to always remember how awful it makes me feel when I get that urge to stuff my face with carbs.

I will look for those noodles and see what the carb content is - maybe I will try them when I am in more control.

Thanks for your help everyone!

Thighs Be Gone
09-11-2010, 02:32 PM
6 carbs for the entire bag.

09-11-2010, 10:35 PM
I will definately look for them!!!! I am finding that cooking with a lot of garlic and crushed red pepper, and other herbs makes my house smell wonderful and make eating more enjoyable!!

I am gonna try the mashed cauliflower recipes......

09-12-2010, 02:54 AM
If you need some fabulous recipes for the shiratake noodles take a look at a Hungry Girl cookbook or her website.

Fast, easy and delish! Love these!

09-23-2010, 01:49 PM
I LOVE me some Barley. It is a whole grain. It has the consistancy of pasta, but looks more like rice. I measure out my 1/2 a cup and mix it with lots of veggies. 22 g of Carbs in 1/2 a cup.

09-23-2010, 10:40 PM
well... there is spaghetti squash, but I never really got the hang of how to make it right, it never really had the texture of pasta.

what I like is julienned zucchini... sometimes by itself, or I mix it with real pasta to bulk it up. You can eat it raw or I sometime just warm it in microwave for a few seconds.

09-23-2010, 11:46 PM
Another easy vegetable that can be treated like pasta is frozen frenched green beans - really! Just barely cook them with a bit of sauce or melt some cheese on them or toss with a bit of pesto.

09-24-2010, 06:59 PM
hmmm to the grean beans.........i have tried and tried to do the spaghetti squash - i can't do it..the texture makes me gag!! But I do love zucchini as well,

I almost bought some barley yesterday LOL I will have to now for sure.

09-24-2010, 07:05 PM
Since you like zucchini you can try cutting it on a thin slicer the long way into "noodle" slices. Many use this as a sub for the noodles in lasagna. Or just toss with a pasta sauce. Think sliced like this it barely needs any cooking.

09-24-2010, 07:13 PM
Since you like zucchini you can try cutting it on a thin slicer the long way into "noodle" slices. Many use this as a sub for the noodles in lasagna. Or just toss with a pasta sauce. Think sliced like this it barely needs any cooking.

hmmm that sounds really really good!! and it woulnd't even need very much sauce, good idea!! thanks tommy!